Vientiane adopts one-way grid systemVientiane authorities will designate several roads in the capital's ancient town as part of a one-way system, starting March 1 of this year, to reduce traffic congestion, ensure order, and to promote tourism.The authorities have also mentioned new measures to address parking problems and the misuse of walkways by vendors selling food from stands or in small, open-air restaurants.The Vice President of Vientiane's Urban Development Administration Authority (VUDAA), Mr Ketkeo Sihalath, said yesterday that his authority was preparing with relevant sectors to start the project.“We will erect signs and use police force to give direction to people over the first one-month period. Then we will evaluate the project to see if the majority of people understand the directions, prior to issuing fines to offenders who drive in the wrong direction,” Mr Ketkeo said.“Our project does not aim to fine people, but to give them education as to how to use the roads properly. However, a fine is necessary to force people to implement the regulations,” he said.VUDAA issued a notice on February 8 to determine which roads would be part of the one-way system. Chao Anou road runs from the Mekong river into town, whereas Francois Nginn road will only run from the town down to the Mekong . Norkeokoumman road will run from the Mekong into town, whereas Mantha-toulath road runs from the town to Mekong and Pangkham road runs from the Mekong into town.The notice also determines that cars are allowed to park on only one side of the road, in accordance with odd and even days. For example, on odd-numbered days, drivers are allowed to park on the right side of the road, whereas the next day, an even numbered date, parking will be allowed on the left.This parking system will be enforced for the roads mentioned above in the old town. Additionally, the system applies to the downtown stretch of Samsaenthai road, from the traffic light where you can turn off to get to Sisaket temple to the Department of Geology and Mines. Setthathirath road is also included in the plan, from Inpeng temple to the Hor Kham (Presidential Palace).The notice also encourages people to park in available areas such as the parking lots near the Lane Xang Hotel, Vat Chan and Mahosot Hospital .On February 16, the VUDAA issued another notice in relation to the management of traffic and parking near the Talat Xao and Khuadin markets, with the aim of improving the order and beauty of the capital.The notice stipulates that taxis, tuk tuks and jumbos parking in a disorderly fashion alongside Nongbone and Khouvieng roads would instead be directed to park at Hadsady village.The cars belonging to vendors working in the morning market and surrounding areas will be encouraged to park on the fourth floor of the new Talat Xao Shopping Mall, when it is finished.
Vehicles on their way into and out of the Post Office, and the nearby ethnic group market, Lao Front for National Construction offices or the Faculty of Medical Science, need to turn correctly with traffic, and to move in the right direction. People should stop taking short-cuts by going against the direction of traffic in their lane. This saves a little time, but is very dangerous, and makes parking on this block chaotic.Mr Ketkeo urged all people to implement the notices and traffic regulations and to cooperate with authorities in carrying out their duties.
Ultimately, these measures will reduce the number of road accidents that claim people's lives and should ensure the order and beauty of the capital.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Lately in Lao
Coping with increasing traffic Lao officials have decided to increase the number of one way roads in it's capital city. According to the Vientiane Times (22 February 2007):
Well, ensuring beauty and traffic safety can be combined. Let's hope their southerly brothers have internet access...